News Perspectives

Hormones May Boost Ovarian Cancer Risk

Using hormones to treat menopause symptoms may increase the risk of ovarian cancer, a new study finds. This is true even if hormones are used for only 5 years. But the increase in the actual number of cancers is relatively small, the authors say. For this study, researchers combined the results of 52 prior studies. They included a total of more than 12,000 women with ovarian cancer. Women who used hormone replacement therapy were 40% more likely to develop ovarian cancer than women who never used hormones. The increased risk of using hormones for 5 years was equal to about 1 extra case of ovarian cancer for every 1,000 users, the study found. That would lead to about 1 extra death for every 1,700 users. The increase in risk was the same whether women used the hormones estrogen and progesterone, or estrogen alone. The risk was seen only for hormone replacement therapy.

To continue reading this article you must be registered.

Get Licensed Content to Harvard Health

If you are interested in licensing content from Harvard Health Publications, please contact us using our online form. Our licensing and business development professionals will help you leverage consumer health content from Harvard Medical School as a clear differentiator in helping achieve your business goals.

Contact Us

Customer Log In